Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Metropolitan-Vickers : Arthur Fleming's influence on the origins and evolution of apprentice training and technical education, with particular reference to female college and student apprentices between 1945-1967
Author: Jackson, Veronica Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 9667
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the significance, influence and limitations of the apprenticeship and technical education system which was developed between the 1900s and 1950s by the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Engineering Company under its Director of Research and Education, Sir Arthur P M Fleming. Metropolitan-Vickers was well known in the industry for its highly developed technical skills, industrial research facility and the quality of its technical and vocational education. This thesis argues that this reputation made a significant contribution to the corporate culture which Metropolitan-Vickers fostered within the company and the wider community as an organisation at the forefront of modern engineering training and practices. It assesses the significance of Fleming, the architect of its innovative apprentice training system, which replaced ‘premium’ apprenticeships with a tiered system of trade, college and schools apprentices who were intended to become skilled ‘craftsmen’ and professional engineers. This system continued after Fleming’s retirement in the mid-1950s and the thesis debates its continuing limitations for females operating in a male-dominated engineering industry in which women’s skills and competencies were questioned. Women who trained to become professional engineers faced many difficulties from the First World War until the 1960s and the thesis examines the extent to which a combination of societal pressures, cultural expectations and class issues limited the ambitions of girls who entered grammar schools in the postwar period. It focuses on the implications for the ‘exceptional’ young girls who did gain entry to the level of technical education in which Metropolitan-Vickers took such pride. These experiences are set within the context of the work undertaken by Isabel Hardwich, a physicist, largely neglected in the history of technical education, who was responsible for ‘technical women’ in the company’s research department. Hardwich played a prominent part in the Women’s Engineering Society which developed initiatives to encourage more girls into engineering and the thesis questions the extent to which these measures were, or could be, successful in a period when women’s skills were so strongly defined by broader social and cultural pressures. In so doing the thesis highlights the pressures placed on the small number of women who did develop careers in engineering, even within a company like Metropolitan-Vickers that was so intimately associated with innovative training both within the industry and beyond.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available